Fun seemed to be at the top of the must-have social media news updates list this month.
From Snapchat’s desktop filters to Instagram’s Nametags, social media platforms have been looking for ways to engage users in new and interesting ways, and in different environments.
Functionality was also a key theme this month with improvements to Periscope’s replay features, and a streamlined look for Messenger.
However, it wasn’t all great news, with Twitter copping criticism over plans to scrap its ‘Like’ feature and Facebook performance under the microscope.
Here are the top 6 social media news stories you need to know this October.
Twitter Users Don’t ‘Like’ Latest Rumours
Twitter users were sent into a spin with renewed rumors that the social media platform was planning to remove its ‘like’ feature for tweets.
The Telegraph reported that founder Jack Dorsey wasn’t a fan of the heart-shaped button and that Twitter would be getting rid of it “soon”.
The feature dates back to 2015 and allows users a quick method of acknowledging other people’s tweets or updates, without going a step further of re-tweeting or commenting.
So what’s so unlikeable about having a ‘like’ feature? The same article reported that psychologists believe like features may be causing social media addiction.
Soon after the Twitter-sphere erupted with users everywhere reinforcing their ‘like’ of the heart button.
Social Media Today sought clarification from Twitter, confirming Twitter may be looking into removing the like feature but it wasn’t “high on their agenda at the moment”.
Periscope Replays Get a Boost
Also in Twitter-land, the social media platform’s live-streaming app Periscope added three new features as part of its update.
The new features are focused on improving engagement for Periscope replay videos. They include:
● Pick a thumbnail: Select a thumbnail that shows off the best part of your broadcast, instead of relying on the auto-generated thumbnail that is taken from the start of the video.
● Edit the title: Remove typos and make your broadcast’s title perfect. Previously users couldn’t update a stream’s title after the broadcast ended.
● Set a custom start point: Choose the start point of a broadcast so replay viewers start watching at the perfect part. Users can specify a point of the replay that is the most engaging or important, rather than risk losing viewers forced to watch less-engaging content from the start.
For those brands using Periscope, these features are great news in terms of content engagement.
Snapchat Filters for Desktop
And now for our favorite piece of social media news this month 🙂
After a tough few months for Snapchat including the loss of 2 million users, the social media giant and favorite with younger market segments, has found new means to further embed itself in users’ lives.
Snap is introducing its camera and filters to the desktop.
Snap Camera is available for Mac and Windows and offers integration with apps including Twitch, YouTube, Skype, and Zoom.
Users will be able to use Snapchat’s filters (lenses) at the desktop computer, creating further opportunities for brands to reach larger audiences.
Facebook Ups and Downs
Industry insiders continue to follow Facebook’s performance closely in the wake of privacy and data leak issues.
While the social media platform showed increases in both users and revenue for the last quarter, the European market has shown decreased numbers of users and US usage remained flat.
Social Media Today reports that Facebook is seeing less engagement and users tuning out altogether. It’s definitely a case of watch this space for marketers.
Messenger Gets a Make-over
On a positive note, Facebook announced this month a new, simplified version of Messenger: Messenger 4.
The update is in response to a recent Messenger study that found 71% people rated simplicity as their top priority in a messaging app.
The key design changes include the reduction of nine Messenger tabs to three, with a focus on messaging and connecting.
The Messenger 4 tabs are:
● Chats: This tab gives easy access to one-to-one and group conversations. Visual communication options, including the Camera, will also feature prominently at the top so users can easily capture and share selfies within Messenger.
● People: From the people tab you will be able to find friends, catch up on people’s Stories, and at a glance see everyone who is active at that moment.
● Discover: Users will be able to use this tab to connect with businesses to get the latest deals, play Instant Games, and follow the news.
Facebook believes Messenger 4, which is being rolled out over the next few weeks, delivers the closeness and authenticity that users have been asking for.
The streamlined design and ease-of-use is potentially great news for the growing number of brands looking to Messenger for advertising campaigns and customer engagement.
Instagram Introduces Nametag
This month Instagram introduced a Nametag feature to make it easier for people to connect with other users in person.
Nametag is a customizable identification card that allows people to find an Instagram profile easily without having to know and type in the account username.
Users can create a Nametag by tapping on the button with three lines at the top in the profile section, and selecting “Nametag”.
Nametags can be personalized with a range of design options, such as colors, emojis, and selfies with different stickers.
In-person, users can scan someone’s Nametag by swiping right in the camera or hovering over the Nametag and holding down on the screen. Users can also access the “Scan a Nametag” function when viewing their own Nametag.
Nametags can also be shared with friends through text messages and via other platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.
This feature provides a quick and fun way for brands to be discovered, as well as connect with users in person.
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